Joey Tempest Blames Grunge For Europe’s ‘Down Period’

In an interview with Sonic Perspectives Youtube channel, Europe’s frontman Joey Tempest referred to grunge era as their ‘down period.’ He said:

“We had the down period when Grunge came in. The band went home to Stockholm only to find that some of the members realized they had less money. It was tough for some of the guys for a while. We met each other again and wanted to help each other and carry each other. Now, we are together longer than on the first run. It’s about communicating and having the same goal of working together.”

The Origins Of The Grunge Movement

One of the key figures in this movement was the late Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden. Of all the important figures in this movement, he was perhaps one of the most accepting of media attention. In an interview back in 2006, he stated that Soundgarden was the first band to draw record labels’ attention in Seattle. He also said:

“We didn’t really have any idea that what we were doing would ever become commercially successful, and there were no people, no record labels at that time coming to Seattle looking around to sign the next rock band that would sell millions of records. But that’s also a big reason why I think the music was so strong because we were all doing literally for the sake of entertaining ourselves and making good music.”

Speaking about being involved in the Seattle-based movement, Cornell added:

“We liked to feel like we were just awesome, we weren’t part of anything and it was us against the world. So on the one hand it felt like a blessing, on the other hand it felt like we want to be seen as only us. Looking back on it now of course, I’m very proud and realized that I’m very lucky to have been a part of that scene because that doesn’t necessarily happen.”

Cornell expressed pride and gratitude for being a part of the Seattle-based movement, while acknowledging Soundgarden’s desire to be unique.

How Europe Survived The Grunge

Joey Tempest called the period dominated by the grunge movement  ‘a strange time.’ The lead vocalist of Europe, gave an interview to Uber Rock in 2010 where he discussed how Europe survived the decline of glam rock in the 90s. He said:

 “How we survived it though – there are many factors – the fans are one reason.  The internet started in the 90’s and all these groups started popping up, it was really strong and it put a lot of pressure on us in terms of that it was very new for us to get that pressure.  In the 80’s we had fan clubs but we didn’t really get to see all the letters.  We also missed each other during that time and I think that helped us as well.  We came back with a view that we need to do this long term; we still had things to write and to prove.”

When it came to the grunge movement, Tempest had this to say:

“It was a strange time though when grunge came out.  Now when you look at things, I really like Alice in Chains’ sound on the new album and they have actually moved a little bit into the hard rock world so that is kind of funky and cool.  In those days there was a divide, absolutely a divide but the divide was more with the record companies.”

You can watch Joey Tempest’s interview below.